A GWENT politician says residents are alarmed that a convicted killer is still on the run after he absconded from a Monmouthshire prison almost a month ago.
A junior justice minister is to look into the case of Christopher Woodward, after the matter was raised in the House of Commons by Monmouth MP David Davies.
Woodward absconded from the HMP Prescoed open prison, where he was serving a life sentence for manslaughter of his partner Jo-Ann Noble, in mid-January.
He had been described as a “danger to society” by an appeal court judge in 2001.
Mr Davies said: “Local residents are quite rightly alarmed by the news that a potentially dangerous man remains at large.
“Whilst there is an increased amount of effort being put into risk assessments, it is vitally important everyone is carefully assessed before being placed in the open prison. Indeed, the prison service should think very carefully about who goes in there.”
Mr Davies asked in the House of Commons if UK government officials would ensure risk assessments being used before prisoners are transferred to Prescoed are “suitably rigorous”. Junior minister Jeremy Wright said: “We expect that the risk assessments in all these cases are rigorous.”
“My honourable friend is right to draw attention to this case, and I will, of course, look into it and find out what has happened,” he added.
Woodward, 44, was initially convicted of the murder of partner Jo-Ann Noble, 21, at Lincoln Crown Court in July 2000.
In December 2001 he had the conviction reduced to manslaughter and was given a new life sentence by the Court of Appeal.
At that time, Lord Justice Kennedy said Woodward was “a danger to society, especially women”.
Woodward is described as being white, 5ft 10in tall and of medium build. He was clean shaven but may now have stubble growth, short cropped brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing blue jeans, blue shoes and a black bomber jacket.
If anyone sees Woodward, they are advised not to approach him but to call police on 101 quoting log 68 17/01/14.